CREATING GENDER STUDY CURRICULUM IN ACADEMIC IS TO ADDRESS GENDER STUDIES IN HIGHER EDUCATION AND GENDER RELATED TOPICS.

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Phnom Penh 08 July 20014 – Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) and Gender and Development for Cambodia (GADC) are implementing a project “Gender Mainstreaming in Academic Year” in Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) under supported by AECID through PYD since 2011.

Center for Population Studies (CPS) of the RUPP and GADC conducted the collaborative study on the feasibility on demand for gender related studies at tertiary education. This study aimed to explore the demand for gender studies a level of tertiary education, potential aspects of gender course to be taught and potential berries for universities to provide such course. The study found that the high demand for gender related studies in higher education and the offering for a gender course and gender related topic in curriculum. While the high demand for more gender course in curriculum, the providing of gender course at the universities were not enough to understand key gender issues and theories, particularly related to Cambodia context.

The prominent of gender issues in Cambodia society needs to address such as domestic violence, discrimination against women, and low level of women’s participation in social and economic development. Moreover, the finding of the study, some constraints in providing gender related course in university education were reported by academic staff, including the lack of gender specialists among university staff, particularly female lecture, and inadequate academic resources such as textbooks, research, and case studies focused on the Cambodia context.      

Therefore, RUPP and GADC aim to create the gender studies curriculum in the academic study for universities to include it in their study programme. The curriculum will fill a gape of gender studies in the university level. In addition, GADC will build the capacity of university lecturers to teach the gender course in their universities.

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WOMEN, LEADERSHIP AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION: THE SUCCESS AND CHALLENGES AT NATIONAL AND SUB-NATIONAL LEVEL

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Phnom Penh 03 June 2014 – GADC and CPWP with technical support of external consultant and financial support from PYD and Oxfam GB in cooperation with Center for Population Studies (CPS) carry out the study on Woman and Leadership in Political Participation. 

Cambodia is the newly democratic country which has the 1st Mandate of National Election in 1993 and the 1st Mandate of Sub-national Election (Commue/Sangkat Election) in 2002 and 2008. Last year (2012), Cambodia became the 3rd Mandate of Sub-National Election, this year (2013) the 5th Mandate of National Electoral was on 28 July 2013, with 8 political parties involved in national election.

Woman’s participation in politics is a priority area to Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) who is working to achieve the Cambodia Millennium Development Goals (CMDGs) goal 3, the Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity, and Efficiency, and the National Strategic Development Plan and Nary Rattanak III. Woman’s participation in politics is significant increasing in National Level since 1993 to 2008, there was 6% of Woman National Assembly member in 1993, 11.5% in 1998, 19% in 2003 and 22% in 2008, with roughly an average of 6.84% every 5 years election term between 1993 and 2003, but in the 2008 election, which marked a progress of only 3% (MoWA 2008). 

However, number of woman’s participation in politics has been achieved in women’s representation in elected positions, both at the commune level and in the National Assembly while the Deputy Positions at the Provincial Governor tremendous progress in 17% with comparing to CMDG 2015 target only 15%.  Moreover, COMFREL (2012) reported that the 3rd Mandate of Sub-national election (Commune/ Sangkat Election) remarked that woman candidates increased 4.28%, from the 21.36% in the 2nd mandate of 2007, but only 0.45% (501) women were selected as first rank. 

The number of elected female increase slightly, by 3.14% (376), from 14.64% (1,662) in 2007 to 17.79% (2,038) in 2012, even as the number of female commune/ Sangkat chiefs increasing by 1.68% (28) from 4.13% (67) in the 2nd mandate to 5.81% (95) in the 3rd mandate (COMFREL 2012).  In the context, very few women are elected to the position of commune chief since 1st Mandate of commune/Sangkat election.  

In additional, CCHR (2013) Research Study showed that beside the directly election position called National and Sub-nation Election, Cambodia adopted other two systems indirectly elected position and appointed position (CCHR 2013, p. 30).  First, the indirectly elected position, theSenate is the second legislative chamber at the national level and comprise of not more than half the number of representative in the National Assembly. 

A report of International Parliamentary Unions showed that female representation within the Senate has remained essentially the same since creation of the Senate in 1999, 13.11% (8 of 61 senators) in 1st Mandate (1999-2005), and 14.75% in 2nd Mandate  of 2006-2012 (MoWA 2008). Also theProvincial and Municipal Councils is indirectly elected position as detailed in the Organic Law that provide for provincial and capital councils and for municipal, district and Khan councils, which hold both legislative and executive authority to promote democratic development and decentralization…

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GENDER NORMS PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN THE EXPOSURE TO RISK AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIV INFECTION.

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Phnom Penh 11 June 2014 – Over the last decade, Cambodia has been a rare success story in the global fight against AIDS, cutting its HIV prevalence from an estimated 1.75% in 1998 to a projected 0.7% in 2012. Through improved service delivery and linkages the country has also achieved the universal access target for treatment, with over 80% of women and men, girls and boys in need receiving antiretroviral therapy (NCHADS, 2012a).

Despite these successes, pockets of high prevalence continue to exist, particularly in most-at-risk populations (female and transgender entertainment workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people, men and women who inject drugs and male and female prisoners). With 70% of the population in Cambodia below the age of 30, many members of most-at-risk populations (MARPs) are young and engage in multiple and overlapping risk behaviors (NCHADS, 2013b).

Traditional norms and expectations about the proper roles for men and women still permeate Cambodian life and the concept of gender equality is not yet widely understood or accepted as a necessary part of the country development, Cambodia’s HIV-related funding has not, historically, fully addressed the gender dimensions of its HIV epidemic.

This is despite the fact that gender norms shape the status and roles of women and men, girls and boys, determining attitudes towards sex, sexuality, sexual behavior and relationships. In Cambodia, where the principal mode of HIV transmission continues to be heterosexual transmission, these gender norms play a critical role in the exposure to risk and the consequences of HIV infection.

Over half (55%) of the cumulative HIV infection cases in the country are among females, prevention coverage for men who have sex with men and transgender people remains inadequate (Ministry of Health/NCHADS, 2013b), and there is an urgent need to reduce loss to follow-up along the cascade of services for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV (Sovannarith et al, 2012).

These facts indicate gender differences in the utilization of HIV services by different groups of men and women, particularly among most-at risk populations and people living with HIV. It also suggests that despite Cambodia’s impressive gains in reducing HIV rates, more needs to be done to ensure women and men, girls and boys are able to access a comprehensive range of HIV services (Gender Assessment Report-HIV Services-Cambodia 14 November 2013).